In the Media
Flood Resilience Challenge Yields the South Bay ‘Sponge’
By Zoe Sullivan Brinklow, May 31, 2018
Tasked with shoring up the South Bay against flooding from the upland watershed and San Francisco Bay, a group of urban designers are seeking to turn the subregion into a “sponge.”
One of nine teams formulating solutions to sea level rise in the Bay Area during the year-long Resilient by Design challenge, the collection of volunteers dubbed the Field Operations Team envision a flood protection strategy reliant on nature.
Planning For the Rising Tide To Lift More Boats in the Bay Area
By Zoe Sullivan Brinklow, May 30, 2018
Over the past eight months or so, Robinson and Urban Tilth have participated in a research and design process that partnered world-renowned designers with local communities to develop solutions to sea-level rise as if those communities weren’t disposable — as if people wanted to live in those communities for as long as the planet will let them, and maybe even extending that time horizon. That research and design process recently concluded with the unveiling of nine approaches developed as part of “Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge.”
“Resilient by Design really broke that barrier for us,” Robinson says. “They really wanted to know what was going on, and they really wanted to hear from the people.”
Resilient by Design experts envision an ecological central park around a raised, twisting Highway 37
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, May 25, 2018
Highway 37 is not a sexy enough topic to inspire many people to do something to ensure it doesn’t disappear into the marsh it spans. However, one of the teams connected with Resilient by Design came up with a radical idea for the future.
Resilient by Design involved 10 teams of various professionals, assigned to 10 parts of the Bay Area, to help solve some of the problems each faces from rising sea levels. By the time the teams were preparing to present their concepts, the one assigned to Vallejo, called Team Uplift, had to drop out. It’s the only team unable to complete its assignment, but no one associated with the project is willing to say specifically why.
Map: How to fix nine Bay Area spots in danger of sea-level rise
By Adam Brinklow, May 18, 2018
Friday marks the end of a two-day summit in Alameda capping off a yearlong search for design and engineering solutions to the creeping threat of sea-level rise and chronic flooding in the Bay Area.
Dubbed the “Resilient By Design Challenge,” the essay into possible solutions for soon-to-be problems tapped “designers, architects, artists, engineers, scientists, communities, [and] students” to brainstorm challenges in some of the Bay Area’s lowest-lying and most vulnerable locales.
How to redesign the Bay Area to fight future climate disasters
By Adele Peters, May 17, 2018
"The competition, Resilient by Design, was inspired by the Rebuild by Design challenge held in New York City after Hurricane Sandy, and funded largely by the Rockefeller Foundation, which also helped fund the work in New York. “We thought, can we do something similar, but before we have a big natural disaster?” says Amanda Brown-Stevens, managing director of Resilient by Design. 'Can we proactively think about bringing in design in a creative way to help us reduce flood risk in the future?'"
Yearlong Bay 'Challenge' Ends with Lofty Plans for Staving Off Sea Level Rise
By Craig Miller, May 17, 2018
Design teams from around the world unveil their visions today for a ring of ambitious projects circling San Francisco Bay, all aimed at increasing "resilience" to the challenges of rising sea levels and other growing threats to communities.
After a year's worth of ground work, nine teams participating in the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge take the wraps off of their various visions. Some are long on lofty language and short on concrete plans, but all are the product of some of the world's most forward-thinking urban designers, funded mainly by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Resilient by Design offers ideas for SF Bay Area to deal with rising seas
By Kurtis Alexander, May 16, 2018
"Protecting the Bay Area from sea level rise isn’t just about building seawalls. It’s a chance to reshape industry, parks and communities to fit our modern lives.
That’s according to a high-profile group of international architects, engineers and climate experts who have spent the past year developing far-reaching visions for how Bay Area waterfront communities can prepare for global warming."
Bay Area-wide ‘resilience’ project copes with sea-level rise
By Christian Kallen, May 11, 2018
The Baylands Discovery Walk was put on by Common Ground, one of nine “teams” that have taken up a “challenge” from Resilient By Design, a year-long San Francisco Bay Area project to study sea-level rise and field ideas about what bayside communities can do to remain strong, resilient. Other teams are scattered around the Bay Area, from Vallejo’s Team Uplift to the Public Sediment team in Fremont.
At the May 5 walk, shallow, still-developing wetlands spread in a silvery expanse to the right, and Highway 37 hummed a half-mile away to the left. A thick band of rye grass, on both sides of the paved walkway, signaled that for over a century hay farmers cultivated the sodden, low-lying soil.
Read more on the Sonoma Index-Tribune's website here.
Sustainable design competition seeks to abate Bay Area climate disasters
By Alex Nieves, April 11, 2018
In May, the Home Team, a collaboration of 10 design firms and community groups led by San Francisco-based design firm Mithun, will present its proposal for a multidimensional plan that seeks to reduce the risks associated with rising seas along Richmond’s coast, while also addressing the issues of displacement and affordable housing.
The team’s efforts are part of the Resilient by Design competition, a research and design initiative created to address climate-related disasters. In total, 10 teams, each of which is focused on a different area situated on the San Francisco Bay, are vying to have their proposals deemed the best by a panel of judges and ultimately funded through public and private investment.
Read more on Richmond Confidential's website here
Islais Creek Being Studied for Climate Change Resilience
By Michael Iacuessa, March, 2018
Islais Creek is one of 10 Bay Area sites chosen to be part of the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, an initiative primarily funded through a $4.6 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to develop creative and long-lasting solutions to the impacts of climate change on the shoreline. According to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, sea levels in San Francisco Bay may rise by one foot by 2040 and 3.5 feet by 2080.
The team studying Islais Creek consists of two international urban design and architectural firms, Danish-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Netherlands-based One Architecture, as well as San Francisco’s Sherwood Design Engineers. The group started studying Islais Creek last September. The team’s proposal was chosen in January by Resilient as one of the finalists funded to create a design plan, which’ll be unveiled this May, just prior to Governor Jerry Brown hosting the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
Read more on the Potrero View's website here.
San Rafael selected as study city for sea-level rise
By Mark Prado, January 26, 2018
San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood has been selected as one of 10 Bay Area sites to get attention from a phalanx of architects, urban planners and environmentalists as part of a competition to battle sea-level rise.
Fueled by an almost $5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, teams have been formed to tackle what researchers say is inevitable flooding brought on by climate change. A competition dubbed the “Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge” is asking for plans to address the vexing issue that threatens several communities. Part of the focus is the protection of poor communities around the Bay Area.
Read more on the Marin Independent Journal's website here.
Design competition tackles sites around Bay Area to address rising waters
By John King, January 10, 2018
"Channelized creeks opened up so that sediment can spill into the bay and bring marshes back to life. Landscaped waterways lined by high-rise housing. Floating buildings grouped inside new lagoons along the shore."
"These visions, of a region where cities and nature are entwined more closely than ever before, aren’t the work of idle dreamers. They’re responses to the likelihood that sea level rise in coming decades will transform the body of water that gives the Bay Area its name — and part of a design competition that is about to enter its final lap."
Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle's website here.
Request for Public Comment: Resilient by Design Seeks Bay Area Community Input on 32 Innovative Design Opportunities to Address Climate Change before Disaster Strikes
Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge - Press Release, November 16, 2017
San Francisco Bay Area, California — Today, Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, an exciting new approach to address climate change before disaster strikes, launched online and physical locations for a two-week public comment period open to all Bay Area residents to share their thoughts, ideas, comments, and hopes for 32 inspirational Design Opportunities imagined by the 10 Design Teams participating in the Bay Area Challenge.
The 32 Design Opportunities are now available for review and public comment online via Neighborland, and for viewing at locations throughout the Bay Area including SPUR San Francisco, the Bay Area Metro Center, SPUR Oakland, SPUR San Jose, and the San Mateo County Office in Redwood City (details below). This public feedback is critical to lay the groundwork for the next phase of the Bay Area Challenge, in which Design Teams will dive deeper to develop 10 of the Design Opportunities in partnership with local leaders and community groups to come up with real, implementable design solutions that build a stronger, safer Bay Area.
Read the full press release here.
Racing Rising Seas in the Bay Area: Design Teams ‘Float’ Some Big Ideas
By Craig Miller, November 16, 2017
After months of study, ten carefully-picked design teams are unveiling their first ideas for giving the Bay Area a makeover to cope with rising sea levels. It’s the latest phase of the Resilient by Design challenge, which aims for nothing less than the remaking of waterfront communities with forward-looking design.
“There’s been lots of study but [now] there’s urgency and it’s time to act,” says Marcel Wilson, who represents the San Francisco-based “Bionic” design team (named for the San Francisco design firm). “It’s time for invention.”
Much of the invention on display this week involves reconnecting communities to the Bay, after being cut off by freeways, airports, and other infrastructure.
Can the Bay Area Design Its Way Out Of Sea Level Rise?
By Alison Hawkes, October 30, 2017
Last month, as Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida, a crowd of international designers, scientists, and policy-makers gathered at a warehouse-turned-winery at the Port of Richmond.
They were there to launch a new effort called Resilient by Design to consider how the Bay Area will adapt to seas that could, at the extreme end, rise 10-feet higher by the end of this century. Ten winning design teams have until May to come up with shovel-ready projects, from blueprint to community support and a financing plan. The crowd drank glasses of wine, toasted the challenge, and drew comparisons to events playing out on the evening news.
“We can’t afford to see Harvey, Katrina, Sandy, and Irma from a distance,” said Richmond’s mayor Tom Butt. “The same type of destruction we see on T.V. is laughing at our doorstep. We need a new approach, we need to think differently, innovate, and work together to adapt.”
As climate change evolves, teams tackle how to rebound from disaster
By Kevin Truong, October 26, 2017
In a year when devastating natural disasters have battered the Bay Area, the need for innovative infrastructure is even clearer. The Bay Area’s Resilient by Design challenge was an open call for multidisciplinary teams to take part in planning for large scale infrastructure projects in the region that could withstand sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes.
In September, 10 teams were chosen for the challenge including the All Bay Collective, a group led by infrastructure design firm AECOM that includes CMG Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, Center for New Media, the Terner Center and the California College of the Arts.
BIG, MVRDV, James Corner and more to tackle Bay Area climate change
By Dan Howarth, September 19, 2017
Ten teams of architects and engineers have been chosen to design solutions that will help San Francisco and the surrounding region combat the effects of climate change. Resilient by Design's Bay Area Challenge asked entrants to come up with ideas to protect coastal areas from rising sea levels, flooding and earthquakes.
As the global climate warms and these kinds of events appear to be getting more frequent, the region doesn't want to take any chances.
Read more on Dezeen's site here.
Inequality in the Bay Area Makes Preparing for Climate Change Impacts Harder
By Dave Nyczepir, September 18, 2017
Resilient by Design’s Bay Area Challenge chose 10 winning teams to each propose a project addressing resilience threats like sea level rise, severe storms, flooding or earthquakes in a critical region they identify.
Social inequalities and California’s affordable housing crisis compound resilience shocks in the Bay Area, making it harder for at-risk communities to rebound. Out of 51 submissions across 13 states and nine countries, challenge judges selected multidisciplinary teams consisting of architects, engineers, urban designers, ecologists, hydrologists and sustainability experts.
Read more on Route Fifty's site here.
A Radical New Plan to "Future-Proof" San Francisco
By Tim Nelson, September 14, 2017
San Francisco is one of the many cities in the U.S. threatened by climate change. Scientific projections predict that sea level rise is likely to push tides upwards with accelerating force in the coming decades and a 2012 study estimated that the average high tide within San Francisco Bay could be 66 inches higher by 2100.
Seeking to face the threat of rising sea levels head on, a group of community, industry and government leaders have launched a new competition in the Bay Area that seeks to restore shoreline resiliency, the phrase encompassing techniques that resist rising tides while at the same time providing ecological benefits. Think approaches like planting natural buffers such as eelgrass, which help absorb the shock of storm surges as oceans rise—a challenge that hard structures can't easily meet—while also luring water bugs, fish, birds, and shell reefs that support native oysters.
Read more on Architectural Digest's site here.
Competition looks at redesign for S.F. Bay as sea levels rises
By John King, September 14, 2017
Bay Area residents know how hard it is to get a full sense of the large and constantly shifting shoreline that frames the body of water at the center of this region.
Now imagine you’re an architect or landscape architect from outside the United States, embarking on an eight-month effort to conceive how different parts of the overall waterfront might function generations from now — not just ecologically, but also in terms of the people and cultures along it.
Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle's website here.
10 Design Teams Selected to Tackle Bay Area Sea Level Rise
By Rachel Dovey, September 13, 2017
In January, the Rockefeller Foundation announced a design challenge to tackle sea-level rise in the San Francisco Bay Area modeled on a similar contest in New York. While the east coast challenge sought to address damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, its west coast cousin aims to proactively design regional climate mitigations before the waters rise.
This week, 10 design teams have been chosen to participate from a pool of 51 submissions. Their members include urban planners, architects, engineers, ecologists and permaculture experts.
Read more on Next City's site here.
MVRDV, Big, and James Corner Field Operations selected to future-proof Bay Area
By Antonio Pacheco, September 12, 2017
Resilient by Design | Bay Area has chosen 10 multi-disciplinary teams to partake in the next phase of a design challenge focused on future-proofing California’s San Francisco Bay Area against the destructive effects of climate change and sea level rise.
The 10 teams will partner with community members and organizations over the next nine months to develop innovative approaches for the region. The teams include several notable architecture and landscape architecture firms, including BIG, MVRDV, and James Corner Field Operations. Each of the selected teams contains at least one community member and several of the teams are entirely Bay Area–based.
Read more on The Architect's Newspaper's site here.
Design Teams Attack Growing Threat for Bay Area Flooding: Rising Seas
By Craig Miller, September 10, 2017
Ten teams of experts will hit the ground this week in a yearlong blitz to bolster the Bay Area against rising seas and other potentially catastrophic risks posed by the changing climate. The project, dubbed Resilient by Design, was inspired by a similar planning challenge to rebuild east coast locations ravaged by “Superstorm” Sandy in October of 2012.
“We’ve realized that our current systems aren’t set up to address what we know is happening,” says Amanda Brown-Stevens, a land use advocate who is heading up the project. “So we want the teams to think outside the box.”
Read more on KQED's website here.
10 teams selected to map Bay Area’s response to rising sea levels
By John King, September 10, 2017
With sea level rise expected to become a pressing threat here within decades, 10 design teams have been selected to map how the Bay Area can respond. Each team will receive up to $250,000 for its work, which begins this week and will conclude in May with adaptation strategies for 10 distinct locations along the edge of the bay. There’s no guarantee they will be built — but the high-visibility competition could make it easier to attract large-scale grants and funding.
The teams were announced Sunday at an event on the Richmond waterfront. They include representatives of nine countries, and were culled from 51 contenders. Several teams also include names that have star wattage, at least in the world of urban design.
Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle's website here.
10 Design Teams from Around the Globe Selected to Create Community-Based Solutions to Climate Change in the Bay Area
Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge - Press Release, September 10, 2017
Design Teams, chosen from over 350 local and global experts, were announced by State Senator Bob Wieckowski, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and other leaders at a lively community BBQ along the beautiful Richmond Shoreline.
“Our ten Design Teams selected stood out because of their creativity, innovation, and deep commitment to community,” said Amanda Brown-Stevens, Managing Director of Resilient by Design. “Our Design Teams are on the ground this week as we kick off the next phase of the Bay Area Challenge to hear from local voices dedicated to making our region more resilient. This is the first step in what will be a collaboration with local experts to identify locations around the Bay that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change
Read the full press release here.
Resilient by Design Receives 76 Site Submissions, Extends Deadline to Accommodate Tremendous Interest
Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge - Press Release, July 19, 2017
Due to tremendous and growing interest from Bay Area communities, Resilient by Design will accept site ideas for an additional two weeks to ensure people throughout the Bay Area can learn about the Challenge. With 76 sites submissions so far, community members are encouraged to continue identifying sites throughout their community in need of investment and innovative ideas to address climate change, rising sea levels, infrastructure and earthquakes.
“We are extremely excited to announce that we are extending the deadline,” said Amanda Brown-Stevens, Managing Director of Resilient by Design. “The more this Challenge relies on the ideas and inspiration of our local communities, the more likely design solutions will bring about a stronger, safer Bay for everyone to enjoy.”
Read the full press release here.
Over 50 Teams Vie to join Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge to Create Innovative Solutions to Climate Change as Bay Area Receives Worldwide Attention
Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge - Press Release, July 12, 2017
"Today, Resilient by Design, an exciting new approach in addressing climate change before disaster strikes, announced it has received 51 Design Team applications from multi- disciplinary experts vying to be selected for the Bay Area Challenge. Teams comprised of over 350 local, national and global experts submitted applications detailing bold visions for a stronger, safer San Francisco Bay and underscore their commitment to the yearlong challenge that will result in 10 innovative solutions revealed next May 2018.
While each Design Team application has at least one local team member, and all are required to involve the community in developing their solutions, a wide array of renowned design, ecological, social and resilience experts from around the world speaks to broad interest. The 51 teams reflect architects, engineers, horticulturists, artists, students, academics and more, hailing from 9 different countries and 13 states. In all, 368 people applied."
Read the full press release here.
National Geographic: How the Bay Area Is Restoring Nature's Delicate Balance
By Jane Kay, June 13, 2017
"A competition, Resilient by Design, inspired by work on the New York and New Jersey coasts, aims to attract international architects and engineers who will figure out how the region can deal with the higher tides that are forecast as the Earth warms. People living inside the Gate have been reminded that San Francisco Bay is the goose laying its golden eggs.
Gorgeous gray fog would still pour through the Golden Gate if the bay were a dead, stinking, stagnant pond, but we wouldn’t want to live here. Bay Area residents recognize that sustaining life in the bay means protecting the special ecological system that evolved to survive cycles of drought and deluge."
Read more on National Geographic's website here.
Archinect: Designing for Disaster, Before It Happens: Resilient by Design Seeks Architects
By Julia Ingalls, June 2, 2017
"The preventative nature of the brief makes Resilient by Design unusual. The organizers of the initiative are hoping to create strong relationships between local community members and design professionals in order to more accurately identify sites that require solutions, an alliance that may result in a multi-jurisdictional approach toward design, perhaps changing how other governments conceive of tackling the problem. Although the initiative is locally focused, its preventative nature and community focus is designed to help generate broader applications.
As the brief notes, “The Bay Area is generally considered a nine‐county region, but there are few opportunities or requirements for jurisdictions (cities, counties and special districts) to work together on pressing public policy issues. Climate impacts will not be limited to jurisdictional boundaries, meaning some design solutions need to cross jurisdictions."
Read more on Archinect's website here.
E&E News: Bay Area readies for sea-level rise
By Anne Mulkern, June 1, 2017
"A San Francisco-area group is recruiting teams of experts to design solutions for nine Bay Area counties facing sea-level rise and other climate change impacts.
The Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge yesterday said it's looking for architects, engineers and ecology experts to help San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties. The group additionally called for suggestions on specific sites for adaptation solutions.
At an event near the waterfront in Oakland, several local mayors mentioned President Trump's likely plan to pull the United States out of the international Paris Agreement on climate change action. Given that, local action is needed more than ever, mayors said.
"There is one thing researchers agree on: Flooding will hit hardest in the neighborhoods where people have the least resources," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D)."
Read more on E&E News' website here.
The San Francisco Chronicle: Design teams compete for best solution to sea-level conundrum
By John King, May 31, 2017
"An ambitious design competition that seeks to make the Bay Area a model for how to prepare for sea-level rise kicks off this week.
The competition, dubbed “Resilient by Design,” will select 10 interdisciplinary teams to tackle 10 sites around the bay, with at least one in each county. Each team will focus on a single site and prepare a design response that is intended to be not just visually cool, but scientifically and economically feasible.
“If we can figure out how to do this, and make changes on the ground or along the shore as well as come up with ideas, we can really be a model” for other metropolitan areas, said Amanda Brown-Stevens, managing director of the design competition, which is scheduled to conclude next May."
Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle's website here.
San Francisco Business Times: Global design challenge sets sights on adapting Bay Area infrastructure
By Hannah Norman, May 31, 2017
"Resilient by Design is an open call for multidisciplinary teams comprised of architects, engineers, designers and other experts to take part in a research and design challenge that identifies critical locations for infrastructure adaptation projects. It aims to strengthen the Bay Area’s resilience to sea level rise, flooding, storms and earthquakes. The program launches on May 31 and will last for a year, after which associated plans could be funded into action."
Read more on San Francisco Business Times' website.
The Mercury News: Denouncing Trump’s Paris remarks, local leaders vow to double-down on climate action with design challenge
By Erin Baldassari, May 31, 2017
"OAKLAND — Standing at the edge of Oakland against the backdrop of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline, leaders from across the region on Wednesday denounced President Donald Trump’s promise to break from the Paris climate accord, appealing to global experts and local activists alike to confront the challenge climate change is posing for communities across the Bay Area.
They couldn’t have divined a more timely context for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, which officially launched Wednesday, 24 hours before Trump formally announced his decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 agreement between 147 nations to curb climate change.
The yearlong competition is expected to draw small armies of architects and urban planners, ecologists and engineers, public finance specialists and educators, community advocates and activists, and others in a fight for ideas. Those ideas will be contained in 10 projects designed to better defend the Bay Area’s most vulnerable communities against the impacts of climate change."
Read more on The Mercury News' website here.